September 21, 2005

Moron Mail

     Welcome everyone! Welcome, to the world of poorly written work. This, is an email that was sent to everyone, to the best of my knowledge, who tried out for the school play or who joined our tech crew (running crew, the ones who build the sets, for those of you who don't know). Then it was forwarded to the entire English department. It reads as follows:
Dear Teachers, Parents, and Students,
     I believe that Whitmanís English system is not teaching students enough to be successful in the future. Students are being taught how to write Brief Constructed Responses (BCR) and Extended Constructed Responses (ECR), but the only time we will ever use these is for school. The school is teaching kids how to do better in school, and wasting a class period.
     What happens to the people that know how to write proper answers to questions? They can move into honors English, where they will learn how to write better answers. It is right that the school teaches how to write BCRs and ECRs in maybe seventh or eighth grade, but five years of learning the same thing over and over again is overkill (note: unless he stayed in Honors English in his Junior year, then they only taught him this for four years). There are still kids who do not know how to write BCRs and ECRs, but they are the ones who do not do homework but instead got to some web site like sparknotes.com and simply copy an essay and use that (turnitin.com, which many teachers use now, makes this impossible, and most students at Whitman don't do this anyway. He's just whining because there are people who are willing to do the homework when he isn't). This is not fare (note for the slow, this should be fair, not fare) to the people who did actually learn the material, but are overshadowed by the otherís (unless he only knows one other person who does this, it should be others'). copied work.
     I have realized that in English class you do not learn so much about English as you do about character development and plot. You never actually learn how to put character development into your stories, if you write them. You never learn how to make a correct plot in a story. Instead, learning about character development is just another way for the teachers to give you more assignments for improving your BCR and ECR skills (note: there is a creative writing class moron. If you want to learn how to put it into your stories, take it). I see redundancy.
     In order to make an English credit actually show you improved in your skills in English, you need to change the class. Learning how to use the English language is currently only about ten percent of the English curriculum, and that ten percent is the homework, according to the new Grading Policy. And guess what, you donít even have to do the work completely! You can just guess randomly, and itís checked for completion, not correctness. The in class work and tests are all BCRs, ECRs, and maybe a few questions about what you read in a book, just to make sure you actually did the reading (what would you rather see?).
     You can keep your normal English classes. Keep your constant studying about the BCRs and ECRs that you will only use up through college, and forget everything about them after that. But, there needs to be a class for kids who do believe that they have mastered or at least memorized the Constructed Response format (oh really? like AP ENGLISH? IT EXISTS! DON'T BITCH!). A class that instead of teaching students how to find character development, teaches them how to make character development of their own (oh no wait! He wants creative writing! I think this guy deserves an award for not knowing about the classes his own school offers). And maybe review how to write a BCR and ECR at the beginning of the year, in the same way you review Order of Operations or how to find out the value of X every year in math.
     This new class needs to teach students how to write papers that they will actually use for their jobs. It should also teach students how to write short stories, or even maybe write full stories (The formal essay and the short story are two completely totally different things, you can't make them one class). Have them read a book, and write a sequel to it. Or at least have the students read a book and write what the next chapter might be if there was ("to be" should be here) one (oh look now! Now he's telling them how to do their job! Because I'm sure your shitty writing should be what everyone writes like!). Iím not talking about an ECR about what you think will happen to the main character afterwards, I am talking about writing an actual chapter that you believe would go after the last one.
     Onto my next subject (Look kids! A transition! I think we learned something about this in English class!), which doesnít only have to do with classes, as it does to do with books in those classes. The students in Whitman, and probably in all of the other schools, are given books that are uninteresting (This isn't an opinion at all! This is what everyone thinks!), and are forced (almost like you had to read them to prove you're not a good-for-nothing jackass) to read them. This goes especially for two summer reading books, which were both very confusing (Almost as if you were too stupid to understand them!), and very boring: A Solitary Blue, and Ordinary People. On the topic of the summer reading books, bring back Speaker of the Dead.
     If students were given books to read that were exciting (Because everyone agrees on what exciting books are and thinks they're great! Moron), not about every day things like buying a new car, then they would actually read the books more closely, making grades go up (Do I even need to point out what a stupid line of logic that was?). The students of Whitman are tired of these books. I understand that once, Enderís Game was used for a classí book (note: this should be "Ender's Game was once used as a class book"), and everyone in the class was happy. That one time was the only time I had ever heard of a science fiction novel ever being used in school for school work (I wonder how many sci-fi books this person has read, and if he realizes how many of them are trash. This entire paragraph is just him saying: My opinion is better than yours, everyone loves what I love).
     Books like A Raisin in the Sun, Miracle Worker, A Farrell to Arms (I could be wrong, but I'm fairly certain that he meant "A Farewell to Arms"), and This Boyís Life are not appealing to the students. They are all the same, someone has a problem, and they fix it by learning things along the way. Nothing more than that. You donít learn anything from reading the same exact thing in different wording and different characters over and over again. You just have wasted time by having to read the book.
     This is why the school needs more interesting books introduced. Hitchhikerís Guide to the Galaxy, Lord of the Rings, and Red Dragon are all good ones (He seems to enjoy it much more when people solve a problem through force rather than learning new things... that sounds rather familiar). They are interesting, people know them, and they are different (Stop me if I'm wrong, but a lot of what English classes have you read is either exceptionally well written, or is the basis for many thousands of other works. Somehow I doubt that the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy has really inspired more than just Good Omens and the HHGTTG movie). You can still learn things from them (Like what? I bet if I asked him to describe what appealed to him in these novels he'd be hard pressed to say much more than "they're interesting and different!!" Maybe he needs to spend more time learning how to identify "character development and plot"?). And, if you wish, you can still assign the occasional BCR/ECR on them. These are books that students will read. And if students actually read them, they get better grades on the questions on the tests (including the BCR/ECR), making the grades go up.
     The last topic I wish to talk about, is that students are being poorly graded. Smarter kids naturally are lazy (So you assume that you are not only smart, but lazy because you're smart? Wow, what a fucker!). I can not scientifically prove this, because that would take a longer time than I have (First of all, you couldn't scientifically prove it because it's not a scientific premise. Secondly you couldn't prove this because you're a moron who wouldn't know how to go about it in the first place, and thirdly, if you have enough free time to write a shitty piece of mail to the entire English Department, you probably have enough time to try something as retarded as prove that smart kids are lazy, and fail.). But I can explain. When someone is smarter, they are able to do things a lot faster. If they can do things a lot faster, then they have more time to sit around and do nothing. They get used to this doing nothing, and they become lazy (This has nothing to do with smart people being lazy, it has to do with the fact that he's lazy, and he's making excuses because he doesn't want to do work).
     The current grading policy did fix a lot of this problem, considering that now homework is only about ten percent of the grade, but teachers will still judge someone on whether or not they turn in homework (Oh no! How sensible!). A student may be smarter than his teacher (well that's just bullshit, but we'll let him fantisize about being smarter than his math teacher), and still be held back in the lowest math class (how did you get there in the first place moron?) for his grade because the teacher doesnít believe he participates enough, and that he doesnít turn in his homework enough.
     On the other side, the less intelligent students will find one smart kid that does his homework (Because apparently all smart people aren't identical like he said!), and copy off of him/her (Name more than one smart kid who does their homework who actually lets other people copy). They do not get anything out of the homework, but the teacher sees them turning in their homework complete and on time, so he gets the idea that they did do it.
     The later (I think the word he's looking for is "latter") students are also the students that will cram for tests. They are the students that turn around to the person behind them a minute before the test, and ask ďwhat is the quadratic formula?Ē They memorize everything just long enough to pass the test, then forget it.
     Pop quizzes solve this, but the teachers never give them. Pop quizzes have to be the lost (I think he meant last, but it works this way as well, it should be altered to "Pop quizzes are the lost...") effective way to see if a student knows the material, but they are never given.
     Putting together everything above, you can see that the school isnít doing what it is supposed to (Yeah! They're testing my intelligence rather than keeping me entertained! What bastards!), and making students that werenít good enough graduate, and students that were smart get left behind (How many kids who are ACTUALLY intelligent don't learn to get off their asses instead of bitching?). There are exceptions, of course, as there are to any rule. Some of the less intelligent students donít even bother to copy off of homework to get the grade, and just take the bad grade. I actually look at these students as smarter, they donít cheat, they take the hits. They are the ones who are getting held back for the right reasons. But along with them, are the smart, lazy students (We now know that you respect lazy, unmotivated, stupid students... where is your credibility?). And if this goes on, the person who is taking your order at McDonalds in ten years may be smarter than the person who is running big businesses (Obviously the person running the business was intelligent enough to get off his ass and do some work). Do you want that to happen?

-Pantsman (Also known as a lazy, unmotivated moron who'd rather hide behind an alias and bitch about how much he hates having to pretend like he cares than try)

     Now, don't think that all my edits about his spelling infer that I think my own spelling to be perfect (or even close to perfect), I'm just pointing out something that should have been removed before sending it to the WHOLE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT. This person is just an ass. I hate spam, especially when it's not so much spam, as much as poorly written rants.

Posted by Kickmyassman at September 21, 2005 11:37 PM
Comments

While i agree with you about this guy, and with some of your comments, i think ur giving him too hard of a time, simply because you disagree with him, some of ur comments i dont agree with, and i dont think you would agree if you saw them out of context of this letter. The only reason you say some of theze comments is 'cause u dont like this guy (who i happen to know). although, since i know him, i'm probably biased too so, to quote andy rooney,"so you know, like, whatever man"

Posted by: Ben at September 22, 2005 03:27 PM

wait, i itnhk i know who wrote this too, but im not too sure.

kit: right on man, this guy has logic like a pile of doodoo (and doodoo piles are pretty stupid. say, stupider than a moose)

ben: IM me, i need to see if im right aobut who this is.

Posted by: at September 22, 2005 04:47 PM

that last comment was by me, alex hill. i just forgot my name.

Posted by: alex at September 22, 2005 04:48 PM

I wanted to do something exactly like this, but I forgot :( At least I can dutifully point people who agree with this "Pantsman" in this direction.

Posted by: David at September 22, 2005 06:12 PM

Sigh... Guys. Intelligent people take RESPONSIBILITY for THEIR OWN EDUCATIONS. If this guy, or any of you, want to learn to write, write some short stories, and show them to your teachers. I'm sure they'll give you some kind of credit for it. School isn't supposed to be fun. You're supposed to learn there. The reason there is homework is so that you practice what you learn. Basic principles of school. The way I see it, the more you take responsibility for your own education, WORK, and sincerely TRY to learn ON YOUR OWN, you will learn more. This is not to say that it will get you a better grade, but this kind of studying will prepare you for LIFE. My problem with this guy is that he or she has obviously not made an effort to learn on his or her own while going to school.
End Scene.

Posted by: Sam at September 22, 2005 06:40 PM

Don't go to your school, but I have say that this kid is well... not very smart or good at writing. A great portion of his letter is him arguing that the writing program is redundant, yet somehow he still cannot write a formal letter? He either sucks at writing, or was too lazy to use spellcheck and read it a second time for grammar. Not that that is unlikely, since he probably considers himself smart, and as he said, all smart people are lazy. God... that line really annoyed me. If people are fed up with the redundancy of English class, why don't they write a letter that makes sense and isn't annoying to read? What's his logic again?

1. Smart people are lazy - wait... - NATURALLY lazy.
2. Reducing the amount of work that people have to do makes them less lazy.
3. When teachers collect homework, they are favoring the dumber kids.
4. The dumber kids will copy off of the smarter kids homework which the smarter kids were to lazy to do.
5. These dumb kids will turn in the homework that they copied off the smarter kids, while the smarter kids won't turn in the homework because they didn't do it. (Read that one again, see if your mind fries)
6. These dumb kids will also ask the smart kids for answers right before a test, and pass it while the smart kids fail. (Try reading this one again as well)

I'm sorry, but this really bugs me. Even reading this without Kit's comments, this letter is just poor. I don't have much respect for kids who criticize teachers without a very legitimate reason (not "He/She gave me a bad grade", or "One day I came in five minutes late and got in trouble, but another Tommy came in ten minutes late and he/she didn't care").

Another thing that pisses me off is people who can't write, but try and make their work public. I'm sorry this is so blunt, but if you can't write decently, don't write a letter of criticism. It really detracts from your argument.

On the side note, loved your comments Kit. One or two were a bit strange, but for the most part I agree, and I would probably add a bit more myself.

"Yeah! They're testing my intelligence rather than keeping me entertained! What bastards!"

That made me crack up.

Posted by: Andrew at September 22, 2005 08:30 PM

Wow. Logic-tastic! Nice one, Andrew. -I'm really not trying to be sarcastic. I liked the comment.

Posted by: Sam at September 22, 2005 09:48 PM

I wrote a pair of haiku about him:

His is a closed mind.
His words are arrows. Bent, burnt.
Logic deserts him.

In his day of need
his perceptions twist him as
flowers closed at night.

Because I felt like it. He needs to realize that the reason people who fail at school fail at life is because it's basically the same social situation.
Stupid people and smart people are mixed together and given an abundance of largely meaningless tasks to complete.
School is not a test of intelligence. Corporate America doesn't give a shit if you're a brilliant mind or if you have within yourself the potential for great things.
In real life you do not get hand-outs for being intelligent. If you do the work and do it efficiently and well, you get noticed and you get hired. A McDonald's employee with a 152 IQ and terrible work habits doesn't man the frier or wrap burgers any better than one with an IQ of 95 and fast hands.

Posted by: Jack at September 23, 2005 11:35 PM

Wow...some people...

Look, I'm not the greatest at rants nor am I very...adept at expressing my opinion on the English Department at Whitman. However, I will say this to whoever wrote this letter: Shut the hell up. If you want to write a novel or a sequel or a short story do like Kit said and take a creative writing class. Don't try and hide behind the notion that all smart people are lazy. I consider myself somewhat smart, and oftentimes you can find me digging through my backpack in the Black & White office for a soda because I'm panting from running around doing work. There's a difference between your intelligence and your work ethic, and the two are not necessarily correlated to begin with. Also, just because you think something doesn't make it true. I personally loved Raisin and the Sun (complete with its character analysis and so forth) and, wonderful as one may be, if you think an Orson Scott Card book has more literary value it is my opinion that you're a short-sighted jackass. I adore the Ender series enough to holler, "It's Speaker FOR the Dead, dumbass!" but really.

Congrats to Kit and everyone else who posted for spotting a complete moron and tearing apart his fragmented and poorly written views.

Posted by: Eric at October 7, 2005 06:01 PM

Alex and Ben, you are both retards. Don't insult this guy when you can't even spell you're. And doodoo is not a funny word. You are not funny.

This guy, in my belief, has every right to complain, even if I don't agree with it. This guy, unlike you, took time to articulate his words. This is all funny because you bitch about IDers for doing exactly what you did on the top of this page. You can make him look like a retard, but can you do better?

Again, Alex and Ben, shut up.

Also, I only read their comments, if I repeated what someone else said, sorry.

Posted by: at October 9, 2005 02:55 PM

Kit, this was written by Johnathan Ecker, a 10th grader at WWHS. The e-mail list is that of last year's Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Club, which Ecker used without permission to distribute this crap. After talking with my brother, the head of the club, and a couple other people, we decided that this was a total rant that didn't even work.

However, John somehow found a way to switch to Honors (which he later told me was by just asking to be), and he apparently is being totally moronic. Upon enterring Honors English, he came into my class and hasn't put forth much effort. One day in class he decided to do the reading for the story that was being discussed at the same time, with the book right in front of him not while not helping out his group. Then when he went to do the speeches, he stalled for a long while and later confided with me that he had written it that morning without much practice. I'd also love to point out that his speech used the phrase "like drugs and sex," to refer to a short story that had no parallel to that whatsoever.

He recently sent another e-mail out to the same mailing list, this time being extraordinarily immature by threatening to kill English teachers with lightsabers. He also posted his original rant in the Scuzz Forum, which was completely irrelevant considering that he posted it in the wrong forum (Chit-Chat over School related topics). John just hasn't thought it over to ask people if they want to know what he thinks before going out and spamming us.

Posted by: Evanw at October 9, 2005 06:40 PM

     In response to our nameless friend here (who I will refer to from now on as bannedip simply because that's what he used to be), I did not do the exact same thing at the top of the page. First and foremost, I have only the most vague idea of what you just said because it was all written so poorly that it made no sense.
     "This is all funny because you bitch about IDers for doing exactly what you did on the top of this page." I don't remember doing "exactly what IDers did," but I also don't think it's at the top of this, or any other page on my website. Assuming that you mean something along the lines of:
     "This is all funny because the letter that you posted about ID being taught in schools is exactly the same as the letter that you're mocking." If this is what you actually meant than you obviously didn't read either letter very well. I wouldn't have cared about the email about the English department if it had been well written (aka good grammar and good spelling), or had a reasonably intelligent line of logic. Unfortunately this letter had neither of those things. This letter was a pile of shit. The letter from http://www.venganza.org/ however, was written very well, was witty, and was sent to the proper people. Sending a letter which should be addressed to the English department heads at Montgomery County to those who signed up for Fantasy writing club doesn't strike me as having any point or helping your case. Glad to see that I could at least beat some sense into you though.

Posted by: kit at October 9, 2005 09:09 PM

All we have to remember is do not remember how badly this was done. He probably wrote it in the damn e-mail, I'd like to think of how many flames would go his way if he transferred it from a Word document.

Posted by: Evanw at October 10, 2005 06:33 AM

this kid is an IDIOT. i cant believe i know him... i am not at all suprised that he would write something like this. jesus. people like this should be used to make sausage meat.

Posted by: annie from lunch at October 10, 2005 08:21 PM

John really didn't bother with this, let's just agree that if this ever happens again, we'll play the beat-senseless game.

Posted by: Evanw at October 10, 2005 09:43 PM

So, Jonathan Ecker wrote this? No wonder. He isn't the smartest kid I know, does plenty of "stupid" jokes, and plays video games all day long. And he was lucky enought to get the worst english teachers (on his opinion) since 7th grade - complained about them every day.
I'm not that surprised that he did something like that ;-)

Posted by: Cavalkaf at October 12, 2005 08:25 AM

Random comment that really has no bearing on anything... you only re-learn order of operations up to a certain point in math class. Eventually, you're expected to know PEMDAS without a reminder.

Posted by: Eric at November 14, 2005 10:09 PM
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